IT service management provider SysAid Technologiesasked IT managers to share their true, most bizarre IT Service Requests. Dozens of user stories came in from across the globe, and the following were selected as some of the most memorable IT moments.
1. The Magic of Christmas
A lady opened a Service Request but provided minimal information as to what the problem was. As part of our agreement, I was required to go on-site and try to help her. I didn't really know what to expect, but upon arrival to the user's site the problem became crystal clear. Turns out she had problem "installing" her Christmas tree. The lights were not flashing. It was funny and frustrating at the same time, as I had to travel 45 minutes to get to the site. But in the end, she had the perfect Christmas tree.
Freddy Gonzalez, Chatwin Company, Dominican Republic
2. Pacemaker Sets off the Office
I received several service calls from a lady whose system kept locking up. When we spoke to her and several other office workers, we were informed that the office photo copier, phones and fax machine were also experiencing major problems. From a technical standpoint, everything seemed to be in order, but the problems continued. Upon further investigation we discovered the lady had a pace maker. We suggested she put on a ground strap for a day, and miraculously everything began working perfectly. The only problem was that it interfered with her pace maker. I guess she just had to use pen and paper after that.
Robert Phillips, City of Garden City, Kansas
3. IT Weatherman
Last winter a user submitted a ticket for me to make the snow stop. This occurred in January and I closed the ticket in May. Job done, sometimes it just takes a while.
4. Please Copy the Disk
In the late 1980's I was working at a data center in the New York City area, supporting worldwide locations. I received a call from a user in London who was experiencing problems with one of the files on her system. I needed to see the content of the file, so I asked her to backup the file to a disk, make a copy and then FedEx it to me. The next day I received the package and was astounded to find an actual printed photocopy of the disk! Needless to say we both had a good laugh over our miscommunication.
David Bulliment, Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc., Hawaii
5. I'd Like To Place An Order
Each December employees in our company would receive an email from the mailroom operator, reminding them to order a new agenda for the upcoming year. One year, following this announcement I received the following Helpdesk call;
Me: “Good morning, helpdesk speaking…”
Jane: “Good morning, Jane here, I have a question”
Me: “No problem, what can I do for you?”
Jane: “I would like to order the new electronic agenda for the next year…”
I was laughing so hard I had to hang up the phone. I called her back a minute later,
Me: “Hi Jane, yeah sorry for that, something went wrong here, but I just ordered your new electronic agenda, do you see the little arrows (>>) where it says 1996, do you? ok… please click on that…"
Jane: "Thank you"
Me: "No problem, bye!"
Rienk Huizenga, IOI Group, Loders Croklaan, the Netherlands
6. I Know Where Restart Button Is!
We received multiple service requests from a user who was trying to restart her computer following a new system implementation. She was very frustrated because she could not open the new system. Our first response was "did you restart your PC"? To which she answered "of course, several times". We became very worried and proceeded to investigate the problem. Fortunately the user was located in our building and we could assist her directly. She began explaining the steps she followed to restart the computer and proceeded to turn the monitor on and off several times shouting "CAN YOU SEE, CAN YOU SEE!" I clicked the cursor on the start button and pressed restart. She gave me a stunned and embarrassed look as I walked out the door.
7. The Disc Drive is Broken
A man came in with a PC he had bought from our store, claiming the machine was broken. "I can’t get the disc out, I have tried butter knives, screw drivers, pliers, NOTHING will work," and he demanded a refund. I calmly said to him “Have you tried the eject button?” “What eject button?” he responded, as I pointed towards it. The look on his face was priceless, while he began to realize that with all of his poking and prodding, the machine was now actually broken.
Michael Aird, Apache Energy Ltd, Australia (note: this incident did not happen at current place of work)
8. Can It Be Any Clearer
I was asked to solve the following Adobe Reader issue (screenshot):
Click. Problem solved.
Dev Lunsford, The Message Trust, United Kingdom